Friday, April 15, 2011

Caution: Looks Off Bridges

I can't say if he was in the Army. It was just a jacket. Could have picked it up anywhere. The Army jacket is the second thing I noticed.

First is that he was stopped, standing on the Frederick Douglass Bridge. People don't stop on bridges and just look off at the river. But he did. Stopped time and watched planes land at Reagan. Or the tide. I don't know what he was looking at, but he was stopped and looking.

About 15 years ago we drank beer standing on the Bay Bridge. We were on our way to a Grateful Dead show at RFK (what turned out to be their second to last there) and an accident on the bridge stopped traffic. I had never gotten out of a car and looked off the Bay Bridge. It called for a Bud 10oz.

I've been reading notebooks lately. Charles Simic's, Campbell McGrath's, Sam Shepard's and Gary Snyder's. Writing in a notebook is like stopping on a bridge. Trying to take that pause and get your soul around it. A moment where you keep yourself from just moving forward without looking. Without stopping. Without thinking.

Like the dude in the Army jacket, I stop and look off bridges. I should get a bumper sticker to warn folks.

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